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Saturday, 12 January 2008

Pulling, BBC3

Did we like it?
The opener to this comedy starring Sharon Horgan was too dark to be enjoyable: there was so much pain. But there were enough funny lines to make it worth sticking with, especially as Horgan's Donna has dumped her dull fiancé and good times are ahead in Penge. Maybe.

What was good about it?
• It was brave to open up with such miserable black comedy, as Donna realised it was not a brilliant idea to marry the dull Karl (Cavan Clerkin), who we first encountered being masturbated by a bored Donna (who didn't realise when he'd finished) and cleaning himself up with a leaf from the cheeseplant.
• Donna's wonderful hen-night. Crazy friends Karen and Louise had suggested a spit roast with Jamal and Kevin, but Donna went ahead with awful matron-of-honour/baby bore Tanya's night at the bingo.
• When timid pal Karen (Tanya Franks) tells Donna that Karl is dependable, rough old Louise (Rebekah Staton) interjects: "Terry Wogan's dependable but you wouldn't want him blowing his muck inside you every night."
• The pre-wedding meal at Jumpin' Joes, somewhat wrecked by the announcement that the wedding was off. Mouthy mother-in-law Margaret, armed with bread rolls, pursues a fleeing Donna outside. "My son has more dignity than..." she roars, just as Karl comes crawling out on his knees. One of the many marvellous cringeworthy moments in the show.
• Donna's decision to move in with Karen and Louise in their "spare room... aka the shit room."

What was bad about it?
• The grim picture of relationships and friendships.
• Generally, Pulling was inventive and fresh but there was still a slight reliance on Victoria Woodyish lines such as "There's a salad bar – with croutons."

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